Daily?? Been waaaaay too long.
Mark Buehrle was a fucking boss last night, as I’m sure you all saw. Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that the eleven strikeouts he recorded last night were one shy of his career high, and that in 430 career starts, he’s reached double digits only twice.
Baseball Tonight tweets out an outstanding heat map of Buehrle’s performance, which shows how he worked the edges of the plate juuuuuuuust a little. However, from the “not sayin’, just sayin’” file, according to Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey, last night’s home plate umpire, Jim Wolf, was also behind the plate for Buehrle’s perfect game. Hmmm…
With apologies to everyone else, for my money, John Lott writes the best gamers. So here’s his from the National Post following Buehrle’s gem, as well as another piece he filed, in which — among other things — he spoke to Rays skipper Joe Maddon about the league’s new insufferable replay setup, which apparently has eased tension between managers and umpires. Sounds like a fair trade off for killing one of the most iconic elements of the game while also somehow making it slower in one fell ill-conceived swoop, eh?
One more from Lott: he profiles Dioner Navarro in the wake of the praise — and subtle dig at catchers past? — heaped on him by Jose Bautista after last night’s win.
Alex Anthopoulos was on the Fan 590 with Brady and Walker this morning, and Ben Nicholson-Smith has some highlights at Sportsnet, including the GM’s admission that Jonathan Diaz may not necessarily be returned to the minor leagues when some of the club’s walking wounded return. Diaz offers better hope of taking a walk than Ryan Goins, and just might play better defence, too. If you wanted to bet he steals Goins’ job, I wouldn’t be betting against you.
Gregg Zaun’s “Zaun Cherry” pantomime should best be taken for exactly that, but sometimes he says something so fucking discouragingly off that you can’t not call him out for it. A few post-Sportsfeld beers don’t hurt, either. But seriously, do we really need to empower this kind of moronic thinking? I guess bashing my head up against it keeps me employed, but… for fuck sakes…
Great stuff from Jared Macdonald at Jays Prospects, as he checks in with part two of an excellent feature on Aaron Sanchez, who he talks to about the adversity the club’s prospect faced in 2013.
A little stale — it’s from last Friday — but Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star had a season-previewing sit-down with Alex Anthopoulos, getting some more excellent dirt (which you’ve surely heard by now — and if you haven’t, try following me on Twitter at @AndrewStoeten for near-constant discussion of minutiae that may have one day long ago been breathlessly written about here) on the breakdown of negotiations between the Jays and Ervin Santana (as well as his agent, Jay Alou). Essentially, the deal was agreed to pending a physical, but pen was never put to paper, because in the interim the Braves came calling. Dirty pool by Santana’s group, I suppose, but I happen to be of the mind that if the Jays hadn’t tried to grind them into dust during negotiations, maybe they wouldn’t have been quite so quick to tell the club to go fuck itself when something better came along.
This one is a little stale, too, but I would be remiss if I didn’t also pass along Griffin’s touching tribute to his father, who passed during an otherwise euphoric weekend in which baseball returned to Montreal. Heartfelt condolences, Griff.
Elsewhere over there, Toronto Star beer blogger Josh Rubin weighs in on the removal of the Steam Whistle cart at the Rogers Centre — a story first broken at Blog TO by friend of the blog Ben Johnson two weeks ago. “Big breweries are being more careful with their marketing dollars,” he writes, outlining one of many reasons why this whole thing is rather unbelievably stupid on the Jays’ part. “In some cases, such as the Toronto Indy auto race, craft brewers have stepped into the breach. Alienating craft brewers — potential partners who they may one day have to come back to, cap in hand — is more than a little short-sighted of the Jays.”
Back to the replay issue, as Grof is on this bandwagon, too, writing at Getting Blanked that the replay system works, but remains awful. Hear hear.
Also: Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail gives us five reasons why instant replay is bad for baseball.
Elsewhere at the Globe, something something Hello Kitty partnership with MLB. Huh?
In a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm passes along comments from Alex Anthopoulos, who says that J.A. Happ isn’t necessarily going to slide right back into the rotation when he returns — shocking I know — and that ideally the club wouldn’t be carrying three catchers right now.
The Jays have signed Juan Francisco and stashed him in Buffalo in case some disaster befalls the entire big league roster and several of his Bisons teammates. I’m sure some content mill could have provided you with breathless nonsense about the possibilities sooner, but whoopty fucking fuck. MLBTR has the details.
At Bluebird Banter, Nick Ashbourne looks at the curious case of Colby Rasmus and high heat, which, if you’ve ever watched a Jays TV broadcast, you will have heard he has some sort of a problem with. But, as with every pearl of wisdom spewed out by the broadcast crew, the bigger question is: is that actually true, or is this just a load of horseshit uttered entirely as an unthinking reflex to prevent dead air? Earlier in the week at Getting Blanked, Drew looked into the idea of making fancystats work for TV.
Goes without saying, but just to say it anyway, re: last night. Um… Jose Bautista is still fucking awesome.
In Vancouver and looking for a place to watch the Jays’ home opener? The Vancouver Canadians are hosting a party at Mahony & Sons. Check out their post on it and go get drunk, or whatever it is you people do.
Lastly, presented without comment: Emilio Bonifacio has started the season with nine hits in two games. According to Hardball Talk, that makes him the first player in over 100 years to do so.